Every one should have a “Shiloh” dog in their lifetime. I was lucky, I grew up with dogs and have always had dogs and I love all of my dogs so much that it hurts sometimes. But with Shiloh dog it was different, I fell in love with him right after I got him and in my mind he was that one in a million dog that most people never get, even breeders and trainers who have known and worked with hundreds of dogs. Every once in a while I’ll get a call from someone who has a Shiloh dog and they can’t explain their love for that dog in words, and I smile remembering my boy and tell them how lucky they are and to let their Shiloh dog know each and every day how much they love them because their time on this earth is way to short.
Shiloh was my second dog on my own. I adopted him from the Devore Animal Shelter on August 17th, 1999 at approximately 6 months old. He had eyes that would melt your heart and that is what sold me on him. Shiloh developed demodectic mange, one of the worst cases my vet had ever seen just a month after coming out of the shelter. I almost lost him several times during that battle. Fortunately, he pulled through but was left with Canine Lupus and required treatment through his lifetime.
Throughout his lifetime Shiloh dog only played with one toy and that was the Stingray. Fortunately I was able to buy 20 of them and so he always had one when we had to exchange the old one.
When I first brought Shiloh home I introduced him to Samantha my golden retriever/chow mix and he loved her from the beginning. Samantha was a very tolerant girl since Shiloh thought that every limb was a tasty chew toy and would sit out in the patio on all 4 legs while Shiloh tugged at her tail. Shiloh later went on to welcome Abby into his life a husky and then later Hershey Hound who he did not like in the beginning and let Hershey know by detailing his ears with punctures. With some work the two of them became best friends chasing each other, smiling and playing. Yes, my Shiloh boy smiled with his eyes.
I remember the trips up to Big Bear and Crestline to run with him and the car sickness through his puppyhood. Thankfully he outgrew that and the chewing at age 2. Not before he had eaten a fence, patio furniture, a hose, Sam’s legs, etc. Oh and did I mention he loved Bitter Apple! I also remember riding horses with Shiloh right beside me and the time the horse tried to back us down the embankment and Shiloh nipped his heels and probably saved my life. Or the many trail runs in which my boy was always off leash because I had a solid recall and he would sit to the side of the trail for horses, mountain bikers, runner and hikers. We encountered 2 mountain lions on our many runs. Both times Shiloh knew we were being followed and let me know by trying to herd me back down the trail. Both times we saw these magnificent animals and Shiloh remained by my side. My boy ran with me until he was 10 years old, and we were out on a run and he looked at me stopped and sat down, I knew our running days were over. So from then on we took leisurely strolls, which he enjoyed immensely.
I lost my Shiloh boy to Leukemia on June 14, 2011. He was diagnosed 4 weeks before and I was told he probably had a few days but he went for 4 quality weeks. On the morning of the 14th he looked at me and I knew in his eyes it was time. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. Shiloh’s ashes now sit in a beautiful urn on our fireplace mantle. The urn says “Perfect Boy Forever in Our Hearts”.
Shiloh dog was one of a kind. He was my friend, my companion. So if you are lucky enough to have a Shiloh dog in your life tell them how much you love them each and every day and cherish every moment with them because they are one in a million.